After three days of partying for a friend’s big birthday, you would think sitting by the pool would be enough activity, but that’s not how the Cypriot and I work. One more day in Costa del Sol and we jumped into our convertible on our way to Ronda. A few of the other party guests had been there and raved, so we headed to the hills. I was not the first American to make this trip as it was a favorite of Ernest Hemingway, having used Ronda as inspiration for “For Whom the Bell Tolls.”
1. Plaza de Toros de Ronda
Ronda has been associated with bull fighting for almost as long as the sport has existed and this bull ring is the oldest in Spain, built in the 18th C. The padrinos of the sport, the Romero clan – Francisco, son Juan, and his famous grandson Pedro – completely transformed the sport, bringing into use the cape and the sword. Don’t miss the fabulous museum!
2. Puente Nuevo
Nuevo is not really new in this instance. Completed in 1793 by the same architect as the Plaza de Toros de Ronda, this bridge connects the newer town to the old town. A spectacular feat of engineering at the time, but its use was a bit more sinister. Don’t miss the little window above the arch. This is now a museum, but the room has been used as a store room and a prison. Many a poor man was thrown to death from this little unobtrusive opening.
I’ve collected fans since I was a little girl. How thrilled was I to stumble upon Artesanía Medina. The shop had only opened two weeks before and sold only fans! A million colors and styles – patterned, spotted, flowers. I must admit I bought about ten of them.
4. GASTROBAR CAMELOT
All this sightseeing is bound to make you hungry for some tapas, we are in Andalusia after all. A recommendation from the lady at the local pastry shop and there we were in Camelot, Camelot... Although views abound in this hill town, do not expect one here. Located next to a parking lot, below is the view you’ll see….not bad…some of the best tapas I have ever eaten.
Be warned – Camelot is the only English word you’ll find here, so bring a Spanish/English dictionary or brush up on your menu spanish – the staff don’t speak a word. You can always point though!
(Photo source: http://bit.ly/28RuNbF)
We have the lady who served us at La Casa del Dulce to thank for our marvellous lunch. A tiny store front that you might pass in a second on your way to the lovely Plaza Duquesa de Parcent. First, though, she guided us through a lesson in sweet Spanish galletas – pestiños, mantecadas, turrón. We left with gifts for our hosts, as well as our own secret stash.
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Best Bits: Travel Cheat Sheet for Ronda, Spain
- Plaza de Toros de Ronda, Calle Virgen de la Paz, 15
- Puento Neuvo, Calle Armiñán
- Artesanía Medina, Ctra. Espinel, 22
- Gastropub Camelot, Calle Comandante Salvador Carrasco, 2
- La Casa del Dulce, Calle Tenorio 11